Fictional(ised) beginnings of the Ottoman Dynasty: Notes on the Hikâyet-ı Zuhûr-ı Âl-i ‘Osmân

Aksoy Sheridan R. A.

Postmedieval, vol.13, no.3-4, pp.517-532, 2022 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 3-4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1057/s41280-022-00254-y
  • Journal Name: Postmedieval
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, MLA - Modern Language Association Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.517-532
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


A Millet Library copy of an Ottoman Turkish text entitled Hikâyet-ı Zuhûr-ı Âl-i ‘Osmân; Der Beyân-ı Tevârîh-i Âl-i ‘Osmân (The Story of the Emergence of the House of Osman; The Account of the Histories of the House of Osman) bears a catalogue note, most probably written by Ali Emîrî: ‘This is an Ottoman quasi-history spanning the period up until the ascension of Sultan Selim the First; yet from beginning to end and from top to bottom it consists of a series of spurious and fabricated lies.’ This ‘quasi-historical’ narrative’s extant eleven known, mostly undated, copies with varied titles held in Turkish collections, however, attest to its repeated reproduction. This article focuses on this set of underappreciated narratives about Ottoman dynastic beginnings to explore not only the narrative convergences they exhibit with the earliest Ottoman chronicles, but also their fictionality as related to their functionality in their contexts of production.